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Sanders brushes off leaked Clinton criticism

WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders says audio from a closed-door Hillary Clinton fundraiser shows the two largely agree — even though Clinton dismissed some of Sanders’ policy positions as “false promises.”

“If you listen to the whole discussion that she had, a very important point that she made is that a lot of young people who went into debt, worked very hard to get a good education, can’t find a job commensurate to the education that they received,” Sanders told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday.

Tapper was pressing Sanders about audio clips obtained from a hack into a Democratic staffer’s emails posted late Friday by the conservative Washington Free Beacon.

Speaking to a gathering of campaign supporters in February, Clinton said some of Sanders’ followers “are new to politics completely. They’re children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement.”

She continued: “If you’re feeling like you’re consigned to, you know, being a barista, or you know, some other job that doesn’t pay a lot, and doesn’t have some other ladder of opportunity attached to it, then the idea that maybe, just maybe, you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing. I think we all should be really understanding of that.”

Asked if those comments bothered him, Sanders said: “Of course it does, but we are in the middle of a campaign … If you go to some of the statements I made about Hillary Clinton, we have real differences.”

Still, he said the two have worked together since the end of the Democratic primary on proposals such as providing affordable public college tuition and expanding access to health care through increased funding for community health centers.

“What Secretary Clinton and I have done since the election, since the primary nominating process, we have worked together in a number of areas,” he said.

Asked about those comments in particular, Sanders shook his head “yes” and said he agreed with Clinton.

“They are living in their parents’ basement, and that’s the point,” he said, arguing that many young people have been denied economic opportunity since the recession.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, also defended the audio clip on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, criticizing the Washington Free Beacon’s coverage of it.

“I really encourage everybody to listen to that full audio,” Mook said. “The original piece that came out on it had to have the headline changed because it completely mischaracterized what she was talking about. She was talking about young people that she’d met who were frustrated that they graduated from college and went into an economy where they couldn’t find the job they wanted.”